best Linux screen capture settings of the day

June 23rd, 2017

ffmpeg -thread_queue_size 128 -f alsa -i default -f x11grab -isync -r 30 -ac 2 -s 1920×1080 -i :0.0+0,0 -vcodec libx264 -preset veryfast -pix_fmt yuv420p -acodec libmp3lame -ar 44100 -ab 192k -threads 4 -y Desktop.mp4

Update: w/ VAAPI e.g. for Intel’s QuickSync:

ffmpeg -hwaccel vaapi -vaapi_device /dev/dri/renderD128 -thread_queue_size 64 -f alsa -i default -f x11grab -isync -r 30 -ac 1 -s 1920×1080 -i :0.0+0,0 -vf ‘format=nv12,hwupload’ -threads 8 -aspect 16:9 -b:v 12500k -vcodec h264_vaapi -af “lowpass=f=7000″ -acodec aac -ab 192k -threads 8 Desktop2.mp4 -y

This annoying Sony camers w/ AVCHD files

June 12th, 2017

To process them in Linux install fuse-exfat, mount the SD with:

mount.exfat-fuse /dev/sdb1 /mnt/

and convert the properitary container to a standard one:

ffmpeg -i /mnt/PRIVATE/AVCHD/BDMV/STREAM/00001.MTS -codec copy myfile.mp4

Changing the Ethernet Mac address

June 7th, 2017

For fun or for profit:

sudo ifconfig en0 ether eb:ec:4a:9a:1e:b8

Of course choose your own truly random hex numbers ;-)

The miserable High Sierra install experience

June 7th, 2017

Apple just released the first macOS 10.13 “High Sierra” Beta. Actually I’m quite surprised of the lack of inspiration in naming. They switched from nice cat names, to boring California landmark names, only to go form Sierra to High Sierra? Is there nothing else more investing to name it? Also this results in rather poor google experience when you google for high sierra issues and one get’s overloaded with old Sierra stuff, … Maybe they are just too high in their Cupertino UFO spaceship these days, …

Anyways, the install experience, oh my, god, where should I even start. Why the heck can they not publish proper, good old installer disk images? And with this High Sierra Beta they reached a new sad point of annoyance. So first some “macOSDeveloperBetaAccessUtility.dmg” packages has to be downloaded (150k or so), after some system fiddling (btw, what exactly?) You get a “Install macOS 10.13” int the AppStore like with previous macOS versions. But instead of including all the installer image, it is only 5MB in size.

Starting that app does some Apple authorisation (again), think preventing Hackintosh’s, and then starts downloading the installer disk images into /macOS\ Install\ Data/, like InstallESDDmg.pkg.partial, and such.

So the problem will all this error prone steps is that the first time the download got stuck at some 4.8 GB. Restarting this stupid loader app wiped all the data and stated from scratch!!! :-/ So some hour and another 5GB wasted in the internet later, it rebooted the system just to tell me I would not have enough space. Wait what? It could not determine that before all the wasted time and data? And only offer to reboot, ..!

Guess what? At that point the f*cking installer thing again removed all the 5GB+ installer image from /macOS\ Install\ Data/ !!!!1!!!

So instead of me being able to plug in other external disk or whatever for installation. I now again need to wait an hour or two, and load the 5GB+ of data, again, and again.

Why do they have to re-implement this crappy, error prone downloader, when the App Store already has a download facility that may be more stable, continue stopped downloads and would also leave the installer image where it was for the next test install.

Each year the whole install procedure feel more like a hidden, user unfriendly labyrinth maze that you would expect from Microsoft in Windows, but not from a cleanly structured Unix kind of system we expect macOS to be.

Unfortunately it looks like Apple is giving up on this clean structure for the sake of making Hackintoshs harder thru obscurity.

Sad. Just so sad :-/

What’s up at Apple? Make UI great again!

May 9th, 2017

While traveling abroad the other day I needed to save bandwidth and download an SD video of an HD TV series season pass in iTunes. A long search of hidden easter eggs - but I finally found it:

Why do the companies need to change their UI so often, make things more difficult and hide in the least expected corners? Why can this not be simple, context options where one would expect it?

Dell XPS 13 9360 Developer Edition

April 10th, 2017

Last year Dell was so kind to send me the Intel Skylake based 15″ XPS 9550. As expected Dell recently refreshed the XPS series with the Kaby Lake generation of Intel’s platforms, and I could take a look on the refreshed silicon in the 13″ form factor.

The 13″ edition comes with the same light and sturdy carbon fibre, with a gentle silicone surface. As mentioned in last years post I like it for the thermal and electrical isolation. The same infinity edge display still optimises the size of the case, so that the 13″ display is effectively packed into the size of a conventional 12″ laptop. A really welcome light and compact travel companion.
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tcpdump IPv6

March 31st, 2017

tcpdump -i eth0 -v ip6

Latest Mac’s build in hardware test

March 1st, 2017

Historically there was an Apple hardware test that you could boot to check if your Mac’s hardware is all good.

It came to a surprise though, that with newer Macs simply holding the ‘d’ during power on it runs some simple hardware diagnostic, too.

One should probably more often read Apple’s support pages, ..

Oqo 01 power adapter pinout

February 3rd, 2017

I got a nearly unused Oqo 01+ a few years ago for my vintage computer collection. You know, because it has “rare” Transmeta Efficeon cpu in it. As the original power supplies are apparently prone to fail, it already came without a power supply and I had to always use the lab supply on my desk (don’t ask, just the usual computer scientist office desk ;-)

Back in the day I found a post form Ekawahyu Susilo, were he measured the pins - however, given the usual bitrot in the interwebs the post is now gone, and I peeled the most useful photo out of the to archive it prominently here as well:

Recompress PDF 1.0 (aka 17.1)

February 1st, 2017

We just released a new application we were working on: re/compress 1.0 (or by our new versioning schema 17.1).

As I mentioned some years ago we have written a new PDF library from scratch for our portable port of OCRKit.

While we always simply wrote PDF ourselves, for reading PDF files we initially used macOS’ PDF framework. Until we ported OCRKit and ExactScan to Windows and Linux, too.

We could have simply find some open source code for that, but we ultimately decided against this. One benefit of knowing your own code is, that you can usually fix issues in a matter of minutes, instead of searching thru other people’s code for days or weeks. Customers are always amazed about our turn around time for bug reports, or on-site support ;-)

In the meantime we know PDFs inside out, and thru our involvement in the TWAIN Working Group even work with the PDF Association on some PDF standards. After having seen so many defect, non standard conforming, or simply not that compressed files in the wild at customers, we though: Why not factor out PDF optimization, recompression and error recovery into an own affordable App and started to work on re/compress.

Re/compress will go thru all the file’s objects, and re-writes them in the most compact and compressed way. If any recovery methods were needed to read defect or broken files, the new file will be written with all this corrections applied for other, regular PDF applications to be abel to read the file, too.

Additionally, for the big space savings, the images can be re-compressed, and optionally down-sampled to really reduce huge files to very lightweight ones for sharing, and mailing.

And best of all: Since we created our own cross-platform UI, re/compress is immediately available for Mac, Windows, and theoretically Linux, too (if you are interested in the later just drop us a note).

re/compress PDF.